from a journal


Took far too long to get situated and to write at this location. Taking all the cords and wires from backpack, plugging in laptop then phone then the adapter to headphones, or for the phones themselves so I can listen to something which I’m not right now even with ears full with them. Just my luck this place is full.. full of voices full of people full of activity I’d rather not have. Thought this morning about teaching, my teaching life and how it may be indefinitely ending at the JC. The life itself, teaching, does NOT have to end. In fact I refuse its pause or definite end. Kids laughing off to left, I try to ignore them, then again realize I have no music playing. Mr. Coltrane with his Sentimental Mood, assuring me of the day ahead, the drive to Berkeley or Oakland or whatever the territory. Teaching self this morning to not just calm but to place thinking and general observation of things, people around me.

Going to be 40 in three weeks, exactly. What do I want, I think further. Teaching, tech, wine, books, blogs, writing, running, my kids, writing letters to people in my story like the one I was last night talking to, reassuring her that writing is something you decide.

Man asks if someone is sitting here, and by here I mean right in front of me. The traffic is too consistent where I sit. He must be waiting for coffee, whatever he ordered. He looks like a cappuccino or Americano character. I let the track dictate my writing, what my words do with the day. I won’t stress about drawing those maps or parking spaces in the East Bay, or anything in any chapter of my story. Keep self with story, teaching, adjunct or at the university. Man gets some breakfast sandwich he ordered then sits back down. Keep self in philosophy’s walk, thought, thinking, about everything, happiness and how it’s attained when you decide it so.

Writing more wine stories, and keeping self in wine’s way. Philosophy of wine is what, entails what. I keep revolving in its revolution. Man sits in front of me, STILL, and on phone. Need own writing space. Need classroom, more and more and for more semesters. Sitting to write, why it took so long was a result of decisions… idea for class, Philosophy of decisions, decision making, what a decision does to the story. The morning challenges me but I don’t accept it. I’m not looking for challenge or combat, but reason, rationale of sorts.

Started re-writing CV for teaching assignments, public or private. And to remind self of what I am, no matter what I do. If anything, Sonic, a TECH COMPANY, has shown me what to do with teaching, with writing, with my story. And I know I keep writing this which frustrates the both of us I’m sure, but I can’t leave the idea of thought, of educating. Of the expansive and amplifying potential of everything. Teaching ot me isn’t teaching but a constant re-write and re-consideration of everything. Man sits down at table in front of me and to right slightly. Drinks his coffee and sets down sunglasses. He reminds me for some reason of a vineyard bloke, one of the characters that wake up horribly early to care for the vines and soil, look at leaves and clusters in their development and decide what to do next. He reminds me of wine, its lesson, its seasonal pedagogy. Opened the Zin I wasn’t supposed to, the one Mom urged me age for a few months before writing about or posting. I couldn’t. I had it sitting on my desk, looking at me last night, staring at me when I walked past her to the kitchen and out to backyard to watch kids play and clean up, pretend to be part of a cleaning or landscaping crew. The Zin re-wrote me, my peregrination in wine and wine’s throws, however it goes. There’s not only a philosophy to wine, but a music, a sprint and marathon, a family framing and dynamic.

Wonder how many of the people in here, in this Starbucks on Stony Point Road just a couple miles if that from the Sonic office are in the wine industry, or had wine last night. What they think about wine, if wine is part of their life as it is mine. And I can only guess, or write it so. Makes me a fiction writer even though that isn’t me, my identity on page. I come back to a glass, one filled, and I just stare at it, think about what it’s thinking. I’m off this morning, as a writer. And what I write is a push to write through and out of it, so of course place self in the vineyard. Walk a row, or two, or more. Be there. Be on the crush pad watching the pump-overs, the hoses stretched across the cold and stained concrete stage. Write only wine, only wine, only what you see in the tasting room and in the glass, in that Zin last night that was unusually vampiric in complexion. This morning my mind turns, goes somewhere else, orders me to follow, instructs that I shed the idea of 40. Pay it nothing… neither attentions nor attitude, focus, commitment of any form or kind, nothing. Even your birthday, while others want to celebrate for you and with you but more for you, use the occasion as reason to drink or eat or just do nothing productive, be in your wined story. Wine writes in defiant drifts and charges. This morning I left the house with precise aggression. With music, with freedom, with more purpose to define wine and speak her language than I ever have. This is jazz, this is my beat, the beat I seek to keep and repeat. With whatever time I have left in this coffee shop, I note wine’s song and scales, note after note upward and downward, as I between Syrah clones.